18 April 2012

GameTalk - Mano-a-Mano

Strategic games put you in the role of an armchair General;  tactical games, an armchair Major, Lieutenant or Sargeant.  But what of those rare games where 1 counter represents 1 man, and everything is up close and personal?  Skirmish-level or man-to-man games are great for creating for some tense and "personal" gaming moments, but is the scale good for conflict simulation or training / education?  What are some of your favorite or not-so-favorite man-to-man combat games? 

By: Jack Nastyface


Brian said...

Skirmish level games are fun with miniatures; there are lots of fun free rulesets out there to use with plastic Army men (or any historical period, certianly).

Single-man games that attracted my interest in the past inclued Firepower (Avalon Hill) and the TSR re-do of the Sniper! series (better system than the simultaneous movement plots). I liked SPI's Patrol! and its SF variant StarSoldier as well, back in the day.

Jack Nastyface said...

In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I love man-to-man combat games and have made attempts to design more than a few. One of the first man-to-man games I played was Melee (Metagaming). We also used the BootHill (TSR) rules for man-to-man western gunfights. These early gaming experiences obviously proved influential, as I still prefer "small scale" conflict sims as opposed to grand strategy, theatre or even large battles.

One of the best single-man games I own is Gunslinger (Avalon Hill). Although much more complex than other games of this genre (5 secs of game time = 5 minutes of playing time) I do enjoy the mechanics and attention to detail. I once wanted to create a Peninsula war or Russia 1821 mod for this game...maybe when I retire.

Although I don't have a military background, man-to-man games have shown me the place and value of common tactical skills (probably taught during AIT). Things such as interlocking fiels of fire, cover vs concealment, fire and movement and coordinated fire control all play out very well in man-to-man level conflict sims.

Yours in gaming,

Jack Nastyface